Work closely with private sector to end modern day slavery
UNB: Speakers at a workshop laid emphasis on working more closely with the private sector to put an end to modern day slavery in international supply chains.
They said modern day slavery remains a major challenge for businesses around the world and across multiple sectors.
The latest global estimates around 40.3 million people were victims of modern day slavery in 2016. There are approximately 25 million victims of forced labour globally, with every four out of 1000 people in Asia Pacific being a victim.
Nevertheless, an estimated 16 million victims of forced labour were in the private sector.
“It is incumbent on us all not just to decry but to combat the scourge human trafficking and modern slavery on all fronts,” said Giorgi Gigauri, the UN Migration Agency, IOM’s Chief in Bangladesh in the workshop held at a city hotel on eliminating modern slavery and trafficking within companies and labour supply chains.
He said it behooves them to address the underlying factors that impel migrants to desperate measures and into the hands of smugglers and traffickers.
“Renewed and concerted focus on collaborative approaches with the private sector on safe migration pathways will go a long way in safeguarding migrant rights and preventing tragedies,” said Giorgi Gigauri.
It is estimated that almost one fourth of the victims of forced labour are international migrant workers.
Many companies have identified migrant workers as one of the key vulnerable groups in their own operations and supply chains, said a press release issued by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Migrant workers can be exposed to vulnerabilities linked to unethical recruitment practices such as charging of excessive fees, limited access to transparent job terms and conditions, language and cultural differences, documents retention and lack of access to grievance mechanisms, it said.
The government has said it is a shared responsibility and accountability of all key stakeholders both public and private to promote ethical recruitment practices, eliminate forced labor and labor exploitation within supply chains through responsible recruitment initiatives.
“Human mobility is driven by a number of stakeholders who all need to enhance their efforts to work jointly on putting an end to the labour exploitations of vulnerable workers in global supply chains,” said Aminul Islam, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates and Overseas Employment.
Bringing together multiple stakeholders, the event examined practical solutions to meet or exceed internationally recognized principles and standards for human and labour rights, particularly moving towards ethical recruitment practices and eliminating modern slavery.
The event organized under IOM’s Corporate Responsibility for Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative, was attended by representatives from the government, international community, global brands, suppliers, civil society, recruitment industry and development partners.
The CREST initiative facilitates multi-stakeholder consultations to promote good corporate practice and public-private partnerships.
It also partners with international companies to enhance supply chain transparency and build the capacities of all actors across the supply chain to adhere to international social and labour standards in the context of labour mobility.